Anyone who ever has had the dubious pleasure of having to ring customers looking for payment will be well aware that there is no end to the excuses they will hear for accounts not being paid. The amount of creativity you come across from these people is fascinating. If this creativity were put to other uses, we’d be turning out Nobel prizewinners every year.
- ” We need a copy of the invoice”
- ” We’re waiting on a cheque to come in before we can pay you”
- ” We’re out of cheques and are waiting for the bank to sendus a new cheque book”
The advent of payment by EFT has made the last one redundant but you get the idea. I’ve been chasing money now for more years than I care to remember and some of the excuses I’ve come across are almost too good to believe. Here’s a few of them :
- “My wife ran away with they foreman and they took the chequebook with them”
- “The chequebook is in the filing cabinet and we can’t find the key”
- “You’ll have to re-invoice us in Punts – we don’t do Euros down here”
Some customers will literally uses any excuse not to pay. As a business person, you need to eliminate the opportunity for excuses. Get your invoices out on time and make sure that they are complete e.g. no missing Order Numbers. Ask for your money as soon as it becomes due – Don’t be afraid to ask ; It’s Your Money – and follow up on all promises made by your customers. These are simple ideas but, as in most areas of life, success comes from doing the simple things well.
And remember – A Sale is not a Sale until the Money is in Your Bank Account.